Organizations recognized for response and recovery efforts


By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Many organizations that responded and assisted during and after a tornado that swept through an area near Pickens in March were recognized last week.

“I appreciate the opportunity to recognize these organizations that assisted with the county, and inside county departments, back on the tornado that happened on March 23,” county administrator Ken Roper said during county council’s May 2 meeting. “These organizations, inside and outside, private, public, charitable or otherwise, came together and without really a lot of drama about whose job responsibilities it is, where the boundaries are, they pulled together and tried to help that community.”

The organizations recognized were Pickens County EMS, the Pickens Rural, Pickens City, Shady Grove, Liberty, Crosswell, Vineyards, Six Mile, Easley and Keowee Springs fire departments, Pickens County Emergency Management and its Special Operations Unit, the Pickens County rescue squads, Pickens County Roads and Bridges and Public Works departments, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Pickens Police Department, Bowers Emergency Services, American Red Cross, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

“In addition to the response to the emergency itself, we also had organizations respond more in the recovery, including the Southern Baptist Relief organization, as well as the United Way and the Salvation Army,” Roper said.

The organizations received a round of applause at the meeting.

Those recognized “put the needs of the community ahead of any other sort of consideration and jumped in and contributed where they could,” Roper said. “Thank you all.”

County council chairman Chris Bowers said the organizations “are what makes Pickens County special.”

“I cannot tell you how much it means to see our county come together,” Bowers said. “People say ‘What makes Pickens County different?’ and that’s what makes Pickens County different. It’s seeing folks step up in others’ time of need. I really do appreciate it, and it means a lot that you guys and gals are willing to do that. Thank you.”